The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 73, Issue 11, pp 1019–1026 | Cite as

NEC: Part 2: Toward improving mucosal barrier defenses: rhG-CSF plus IgG antibody

Symposium: Neonatology-I Evidence and Experience in Neonatal Medicine


Epithelial cell functions ultimately define the ability of the extremely low birth weight human fetus to survive outside of the uterus. These specialized epithelial cell capacities manage all human interactions with theex utero world including: (i) lung mechanics, surface chemistry and gas exchange, (ii) renal tubular balance of fluid and electrolytes, (iii) barrier functions of the intestine and skin for keeping bacteria out and water in, plus enabling intestinal digestion, as well as (iv) maintaining an intact neuroepithelium lining of the ventricles of the brain and retina. In Part I of this two part review, the authors describe why the gut barrier is a clinically relevant model system for studying the complex interplay between innate and adaptive immunity, dendritic & epithelial cell interactions, intraepithelial lymphocytes, M-cells, as well as the gut associated lymphoid tissues where colonization after birth, clinician feeding practices, use of antibiotics as well as exposure to prebiotics, probiotics and maternal vaginal flora all program the neonate for a life-time of immune competence distinguishing “self” from foreign antigens. These barrier defense capacities become destructive during disease processes like necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) when an otherwise maturationally normal, yet dysregulated and immature, immune defense system is associated with high levels of certain inflammatory mediators like TNFα. In Part II the authors discuss the rationale for why rhG-CSF has theoretical advantages in managing NEC or sepsis by augmenting neonatal neutrophil number, neutrophil expression of Fcλ and complement receptors, as well as phagocytic function and oxidative burst. rhG-CSF also has potent anti-TNFα functions that may serve to limit extension of tissue destruction while not impairing bacterial killing capacity. Healthy, non-infected neutropenic and septic neonates differ in their ability to respond to rhG-CSF; however, no neonatal clinical trials to date have identified a clear clinical benefit of rhG-CSF therapy. This manuscript will review the literature and evidence available for identifying the ideal subject for cytokine treatment using NEC as the model disease target.

Key words

Necrotizing enterocolitis Neonatal sepsis TNFα Systemic inflammatory response syndrome 0264 0152 V 2 Cytokines 


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Copyright information

© Dr.K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Division of Newborn Medicine, The Regional Neonatal Center, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital of Westchester Medical CenterNew York Medical CollegeValhalla

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